Location and context just became more important to brands. On March 23, Twitter disclosed a relationship with Foursquare to make it possible for people to add specific locations to their Tweets. In other words, you can give your tweets additional context by sharing your location (e.g., “Starbucks, 123 Mission Street. San Francisco”) along with your activity. The relationship underscores how important it is for brands to create personal, contextual relationships with customers at the local level — such as by offering location-specific offers targeted to Twitter users based on their location and activity.
Twitter users are already able to add cities or neighborhoods to their tweets. But as explained on the Twitter website, soon users will be able to add specific locations– such as restaurants, businesses, and retail stores. As Twitter notes, “You can choose to add a location to your Tweets using Twitter for Android, Twitter for iOS, twitter.com or other mobile applications.” The mobile applicability is crucial: mobile searches are expected to surpass desktop searches in 2015, per eMarketer.
The Twitter/Foursquare relationship creates an opportunity for businesses (such as large enterprises with multiple locations) to create more location-relevant information, such as offers and recommendations. For instance, if you Tweet about the lunch you are having in the Embarcadero Center in San Francisco, the Banana Republic Twitter account that you follow just might want to let you know about a sale going on at the nearby Banana Republic in the Financial Center. But retailers are not the only brands that can benefit. For instance, a medical practice might share with you information about the doctors at its location depending on where you are and what you are doing.
The relationship is also a huge win for Foursquare because Foursquare extends its reach as a source of business data for third-party applications. Foursquare already supplies data to Uber and Pinterest to make those apps more locally relevant. Partnering with Twitter makes Foursquare a more influential player in local search.
For brands to succeed, they should consider carefully the importance of context. Brands that tweet offers willy-nilly based on someone’s location may alienate customers and prospects. Brands that take into account a person’s context — such as the time of day a tweet is shared, the actual content and tone of the tweet — will win by being relevant.
Photo Credit: TechCrunch
Any brand that operates multiple locations faces the compelling challenge of creating content that is more relevant and findable to local audiences. For instance, if you are a retailer with locations in Sao Paulo and New York, a winter-season promotion will occur at radically different times of the year in both locations. As I discuss in my new column for Search Engine Land, your local workforce can be incredibly valuable as you formulate location-aware content. Your local employees understands the nuances of communicating to their local markets better than anyone. My new column shares how brands can more effectively tap into the value of their local brand ambassadors. Check it out and let me know what you think.
When Google unleashed its Pigeon update months ago, my colleagues at SIM Partners and I agreed that it would take some time before we could assess Pigeon’s impact on brands. Since then, using the Velocity platform, we have researched its effect on clients and have learned that Pigeon has a number of implications for brands. Studying 5,000 location pages across several industries, we wanted to know how Pigeon affects crucial factors such as website traffic and ranking performance among businesses that depend on local listings. I discuss the results of our study in my new byline for Search Engine Land and encourage you to read our findings and let us know how Pigeon is affecting your brand. Read the article here!
Happy holidays and continued success in 2014 from all of us at SIM Partners.
Google recently announced that 50% of search queries on mobile devices are for local information; unfortunately, the tactics to convert traffic from these searches can be overwhelming to many business owners. One often overlooked tactic is to update the business’ core website using responsive design to deliver the information most frequently requested by customers when using mobile devices. Read more »
As smart phone usage continues to grow, the amount of apps that feature business data has exploded. From traditional local directory apps like Yelp and YP Mobile to apps that are inherently local like Foursquare and MapQuest to mega-popular apps like Facebook and Instagram that are making inroads in the local space, business information is appearing more frequently on more devices than ever before.
In order to better understand where these apps are sourcing this business information, we put together this infographic showing the top 23 apps by total historical downloads and showed who is supplying the data for each.
Wishing you all continued success in 2013, and a safe and Happy Holiday!!
- Jon, Adam, Jay & Neil
In keeping with our core value “Give Back” we often look for places where we can contribute back to the Chicago technology scene and were excited to sponsor a table at the 7th annual SmartBet.org charity poker game last night. This year it was located at the historic Chicago Cultural Center and over 200 players and two dozen technology companies working to raise $100,000 to benefit the following organizations:
i.c. Stars (a favorite of ours and a number of SIMs are alumni)
We sponsored a table there and were excited to cheer on Chris & Francois as they moved on to the 2nd round. Chris hung in there for some time but eventually went out, while Francois slowly and methodically built his chip stack to the point that he had an overwhelming chip lead by the time he reached the final table. Bullying the rest of the players he one by one knocked them out until he had captured the title for himself. Congrats to Francois!
Check out more pictures from the event here!
It was great being asked back to participate in David Mihm’s Local Search Ranking Factors. Another strong analysis from the top local minds, the survey is a must read for anybody looking for insight into how Google determines which businesses should rank.
Here are the top 10 overall factors:
- Physical Address in City of Search(PLACE PAGE)
- Proper Category Associations(PLACE PAGE)
- Proximity of Address to Centroid(PLACE PAGE)
- Domain Authority of Website(WEBSITE)
- Quantity of Structured Citations (IYPs, Data Aggregators)(OFF-SITE)
- City, State in Places Landing Page Title(WEBSITE)
- Quantity of Native Google Places Reviews (w/text)(REVIEWS)
- Quality/Authority of Structured Citations(OFF-SITE)
- Local Area Code on Place Page(PLACE PAGE)
- HTML NAP Matching Place Page NAP(WEBSITE)